The Crisis of Contentment
One of the most obvious facts of modern Western culture is the obsessive hurry that characterizes our lives. We run from thing to thing . . . to thing . . . to thing. Silence and solitude are almost non-existent in our society. The mantras all around us push us to work harder, buy more toys, live life with more passion, and never stop achieving.
In the midst of this is an ever-increasing strain on our lives, our health, our relationships, and our intimacy with God. In short, we are a people who’ve lost sight the joys of contentment. If there is a word that might characterize modern-day living, it could well be the word “restlessness.” Sadly, even our Sundays have just become another day for catching up and trying to stay ahead of the game. Instead of honoring the Sabbath and seeing it as a gift from God to stop, worship, and be renewed, we keep plowing on—driven by some unknown force deep within that never seems to let up. Hence the great and urgent need for contentment? (an almost forgotten word in our Western lexicon).
For this reason, I’d like to recommend one of the best books I’ve ever read along this line, a book that I believe would be of tremendous benefit for genuine Jesus followers: The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, by Jeremiah Burroughs (Amazon, B&N). It was written in 1648! It is actually a collection of sermons that Burroughs preached in London. My copy is all marked up and has many notes in the margins. This is one impactful book. It is incredibly counter-cultural and has so much to teach us today in our fast-paced, success-driven culture. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you want to do yourself a massive favor, buy this small book and spend this summer reading and soaking in its pages. Let Burroughs walk you through important reminders from God’s Word about the biblical teaching and benefits of seeking our contentment in God alone. I am reminded of the words of Jesus in Mark 6:31, “Come with me, by yourselves, to a quiet place and get some rest.” We are a rest-starved culture. May God open our eyes to the wonderful gift of contentment.
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor